Tuesday, May 27, 2008

The Co-op in Bloom

One of the things that I am not good at...is photography! Melanie however has a great mastery of such things including downloading same...so she and I went for a short walk and snapped some pics of the flora that is blooming in our little world.

We didn't make it all the way down to the front beds...but aside from some white Creeping Phlox down there not too much of interest...so decided to stick to what has the most on show up the hill.
There is a long tree-lined drive coming into the property...and the gardens you don't see are way down at the road...will get them another time when in bloom.

Out back of our unit (actually behind my neighbour's yard) is a huge fragrant Lilac bush that is just glorious...in sight and in smell!

My neighbour in Unit 75...Anita...is directly across from the Memorial Garden. She had a student nurse residing with her for two years...and she added some lovely beds during her stay. Anita's house faces south and gets a lot of sun...so her Irises are the first in bloom...the rest come a week or two later.

The tulips I planted last fall were just about done...the daffodils definitely past their peak...but the Lemon Balm is quickly taking over...and my one surviving Baby's Breath is gaining in size. Behind this I am going to plant some Cosmos for a splash of colour and that lovely feathery foliage.

You can see the Leopard's Bane in full splendor...the yellow daisy-looking ones...as are the Forget - me - nots ... which kinda like it there. We missed pics of the Jacob's Ladder which is to the left of these...but they're not in bloom yet. I have had purple ones for many years...added two white ones this year...and anxious to see them!

At the top of the rock slab wall is a patch of Lamium...also called Dead Nettle...which was started in my backyard...a donated plant from a neighbour a few doors down...that small patch found its home in this garden...and spread like wildfire! The foliage has a lovely green/white combination with tons of small purple flowers that the bees just love...and is spectacular when in bloom.

Over in the corner I have four or five Hostas...their leaves take over one entire corner...and come late summer they shoot up spikes that bloom into pale violet flowers that will go until September. Once the Leopards Bane finishes...there will be a big flush of Black-Eyed Susans.

Above the Lamium on the rock wall are more Hostas, some Violets and Lily-of-the-valley...all were taken from mother plants in my back garden.

The whole lot of beds has been a progressive labour over the years...and I didn't even take any pics of the 5 "Up the Hill" beds...as they are still have much to bloom a bit later!

I just love this time of year!

Porthole # 21

It's almost time to get scanning the next batch of these...hopefully get to that soon. Once I hit # 25...that's all the pics I have...so will slow down to one a share for now.

# 21 is of mixed moods...dark, jewels and pastel. One of the ties I got at Goodwill was used for the centre patch...has butterflies on it. Added a couple bits of the Black Rose lace, YLI Candlelight Midnight on the black silk patch done in buttonhole half wheels with extension points a la fly stitch, Candlelight Gold for the LD vines, and on the gold patch turquoise Silk 30 for herringbone / cross stitched overlayed with black Kreinik cord herringbone.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Stitched All Night . . . and Porthole # 20

I was going to plant some flowers tonight...until I heard fabric whispering to me...it was that stuff that I scored from Mary Anne last visit...I hadn't even opened it yet. I also realized that I was working on the last one that I made from the last batch...so decided to get a few more made. Managed to get 3 done and picked out fabric for another 3...so a pretty productive night.

As I was stitching I realized that the next Porthole had a small sampling of a thread I had talked about recently on Stitchin Fingers ... namely Jeans Stitch. So thought I'd post it now rather than later.

Porthole # 20 - I love the colours on this one ... rich floral tones. The piece of lace was from a cut-up collar trim...added a Midnight B-fly...feather stitching in gold cord...Pekinese stitch in white silk buttonhole (which I've forgotten the brand name of). The multi-coloured seam : the turquoise shade herringbone is YLI Silk 30, the lilac cretan is Jeans Stitch, the half Chevrons and Colonial knots at top are Pearl Crown rayon.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Portholes # 18 and #19

DH has the BBQ thing happening and the rest of dinner under control...so have a few minutes to share more of the Portholes.

#18 took me back to some darker rich colours dictated by the centre patch which came from one of those Goodwill silk ties. Did some gold cord buttonhole fans with a few LDs in between, more LDs on the teal patch done in YLI Candlelight - Midnight. On the royal patch I did two rows of herringbone stacked and added two straight stitches for the arrow top. Beside that on the biege patch there's a row of Cast-ons in Perle Cotton with gold beads inside. On the purple patch is a row of chevrons and a part chevron row to close it. Last I tacked on a few metal florettes (which used to be little cup shaped things that I flattened out) with a few more beads trailing behind them.

#19 was quite an intense project all on its own! The centre fabric was preprinted with silver spider webs that I couched more silver thread over...and added clear Aurora Borealis seed beads as water droplets. On the pink patch was an oriental motif that I enhanced with gold cord and the fuchsia thread is YLI rayon done in Pekinese stitch. On the white patch a whole spray of pale blue French Knot roses. On the pale blue patch the chain stitch is VC Hand-dyed #12 Silk Pearl with a trio of Colonial knots in Pearl Crown. A small lace motif was left from a piece I had and fit in there well...added a wee red bead at centre. Finished off with LD vines along the floral patch.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Stitchin Fingers ... Fabulous Forum!

I spent some time yesterday exploring the newly created Stitchin Fingers network!

Sharon Boggon had this great idea to create a "hub" for all textile related activity ... and I am really impressed with the whole concept. It's like an e-group but better...as you can join groups within the whole group depending on where your personal interests lie. I joined in on the CQ, Beading, and Hand Embroidery groups. Each person has their own page with link info to their site/blog as well as other info about interests, and the ability to share photos of personal creations.

There are a lot of familiar names and faces who have joined, and am sure that when we all get used to this new forum's workings it'll become everyone's fave hangout!

If you haven't been there yet ... check it out!


Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Portholes # 16 and #17

I completed # 32 last night and while looking through the batch from 26 to 31 noticed that I was mistaken thinking that 31 was the first to which I had added Free Form embellishment...it was actually 29...not that it matters...but you'll all get to see it sooner!

This pair has one thing in common...butterflies!

#16 started out with the lace embellishment; French Knot roses and some beads. To the right of it I added a row of herring bone and enhanced it with extra stitches. At the top I added a chain stitch vine in YLI Silk 30 (one of my fave threads) with small glass leaves. I used YLI Candlelight (Midnight) and feather stitching to make the spray of branches and added 3 b-flies on top.

#17 began with the black rose lace motif, then the spray of yellow Griffin Buds. On the black patch I worked two lines of herring bone, finished off with purple metallic beads. The chain stitch vine and leaves were done in Pearl Crown rayon and the purple clusters of Colonial knots in Perle Cotton. Lastly I added a feather stitch vine and a gold b-fly.

Hmm...I just noticed...many of the same stitches were used on both...but the look is very different!

Monday, May 19, 2008

Food For Thought : Tragedy So Young

Our lives roll along and then all of a sudden something happens that kinda jerks your reality, or moreover lives of those around us.

I was quite taken aback last night when my daughter informed me that she was going to a viewing with her friend Kayla.

I had to stop a moment...a viewing. She has never uttered this word before and it only means one thing. She proceeded to tell me that a young man that Kayla had dated for a while last fall had committed suicide. I didn't ask how...not that it matters...the end result was death.

While I had never met this boy he was a brief romantic encounter for one of Melanie's close friends and she felt bound as a friend to go with her for support.

It's one of those sobering life experiences that you always dread.....even more when it's someone so young...and something so tragic...an experience you hope your own children never have...but one you cannot shield them from when it happens.

Being a parent of teens I feel so sad for his parents...they must be wondering what could have been so wrong with life that he would resort to this? They must be so emotionally torn up...trying to think of what they could have done different.....and why they didn't see it coming. An accidental death would be no less easy to endure.....but deliberate death must be unbearable.

I hope God is kind to them all...and that His love will help to heal such a devastating wound.

OMG ... Has it been a whole week?

My ... time sure flies when you're having fun ... or in my case busy as a beaver at work!

Still going a 100 kph on that roller coaster...gardening season is nearly as crazy as Christmas for us .... then throw in staffing issues ... that "prom" time of year ... not to mention the first long weekend of the summer ... and ya ... right up to my perverbial neck in it!

The up side is that I actually start my long weekend now...3 glorious days off...and boy I need it! Just bagged from two intense days. Came home tonight...had dinner and then proceeded to pass out for about 5 hours(which is why I'm still up after 3am).

Played around with some beads tonight.....lately I have this fascination for turquoise blue and silver that I aquired recently...and managed to finish off Porthole # 31 ... the first one that employed the addition of my new "Free Form" creations ... I'm impressed with the look!

Later today am planning doing some gardening...I aquired some Canna Lily roots from a gal at work and have the perfect spot for them ... plus will plant some seeds in one or two beds.

I noticed that one bed of those Giant Germanic Irises is about to bloom.....so may get some pics to show too.....as well as the tulips that I mentioned recently.....before they fade.

Well ... I guess if I'm going to do all that I better get to bed now so that I don't sleep the day away. Later!

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Portholes # 14 and # 15

Happy Mothers Day to all the Moms out there!

Sharing more of the Portholes Project with you today... as it may be another few days before I'll be able to share more.

Porthole # 14 ... hmm ... in retrospect I don't find this one too exciting...must have been in a dull mood that day or something. Had a big piece of lavender trim that seemed to go, and stitched over the "leaf" centres with darker thread. The wandering vine is threaded through with gold cord but does't show well in the scan. The navy Chevron bit was over-stitched with chain and detatched buttonhole. The seam above that has a herringbone row stitched over with cretan and Colonial knots. The hot pink seam is buttonhole half wheels with Lazy Daisy filler and metallic beads.

Porthole # 15 has a lot more excitement. The lace was a gift all the way from Israel. I used gold Ribbon Floss to tack down along top and Colonial knots further down. I had a vase button from which I removed the shank and added a bouquet of roses and "glads"? Opposite that is a Cast-on stitch rose and leaves. The vine looks like I meant to add more...and might yet. On the off-white silk panel I added a double row of herringbone and crosses.

(Hey Gwen ... look what I did! Couldn't cut....but did click and drag!)

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Fun on My Day Off

Well...my sis and I had a great day with Mary Anne Richardson today,,,there is that old saying that "one's man's (womans's) junk is another man's (womans's) gold mine! MA was looking to clean out her stash in the basment and we helped her out.....big time!

Cathy being a seamstress found two whole boxes of fabric she could use to make stuff from....which got her really excited. Me...I found bits of this and that to work into CQ stuff...two whole bags worth...so everyone wins.......MA cleaned up her basement and we carted off a trunkful of stash!

In addition we scored more beads...to embellish same. It doesn't get any better!

We did a share of beads tonight........and works for us.....so all is well!

Work tomorrow.....early.....so best close.

Fabric and bead dreams......ahhh.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Introducing....Robin Cymbaly

I want to tell you about my friend Robin!

We have known each other for over 5 years, working together at Canadian Tire.....but beyond her day job (like me) she has artistic talents that she indulges in ..... and since completing school she is searching for a position where she can use her skills.

When I was patterning my ornament covers, I wanted to include shots of them hanging...the end result and how it would be seen. My sis was going to help but just when I was ready to do them ... all plans had to change as she had to start packing to move.

I asked Robin if she could help as I wanted to have the pictures done before the Artfest show so that I could sell the prototypes. She agreed and we spent about three hours hanging - snapping -changing - hanging - snapping. It was fun...and we got them all digitized!

Thanks Robin for a job well done!

I've added a new link on the sidebar to her site ... where you can see her work!


Saturday, May 3, 2008

Portholes #12 and #13

You may have noticed that I have been posting less frequently ... that is typical this time of year, as business is booming...blooming too...and there I am...riding the roller coaster! Staffing is getting better...but just when I think I have it all worked out...Murphy throws me a curve ball! Such is life.

This week I had just posted my perfect schedule, and I got a frantic phone call from one young lady telling me that her grandfather had just been rushed to hospital...and was not expected to make it through the day! Unfortunately he passed away just before she arrived.

You can't plan for such things....just have to deal with them as they happen...and scramble after the fact...trying to make it work a different way. It always works out somehow. I get the easy part...comparatively speaking.

Anyway.....I thought I'd post two Portholes today. This pair are strikingly different....the epitome of my aim on this project. Different fabrics, threads and even stitching at different times all factor in to create diverse finished pieces.

The first one has more of that lacy motif fabric and my fave basket charm filled with French Knot roses. More metallic threads and Ribbon Floss round out the seams.

The second one has some velvet, silk and satin jazzed up with bright pink Pearl Crown rayon, rich regal purple, ruby metallic thread, fine black metallic ribbon and a silk ribbon vine with beads.

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